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welcome to "world news." tonight, second act. disgraced quarterback michael vick returns to the national football league and finds all is not forgiven. making the case. the president takes the health care battle to a rocky mountain republican state as an astou astounding number of lobbyists flood capital hill. early to rise. can you get by without much sleep? scientists with a break through finding about shut-eye. healing hands. a man on the front lines of the health care crisis serving those most in need. our "person of the week." and, president obama gives an exclusive interview to an and, president obama gives an exclusive interview to an 11-year-old. captions paid for by abc, inc. good evening. it is the stuff of great novels. great theater.
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it is one of the great themes in exploring human character. can a person be redeemed for his or her trance gregss, and how do you judge remorse? michael vick faced cameras today and said he had done something cruel, unethical and inhumaninh but he said america is a country of second chances. apparently so. he will return to football this fall. but football fans can be stern in their judgments. whether he deserves to come back is a subject of passionate debate. john berman is in philadelphia tonight. john? >> reporter: charlie, and there are not many decisions that could ignite passions in areas as diverse as sports, big business, and animal rights. but this one certainly has. the eagles owner says he knows he's taking a big risk, but michael vick says he will prove himself a risk worth taking. after throwing away a $100 million career -- >> why did i risk so much at the pinnacle of my career? >> reporter: after 18 months in federal prison for his role in running a dog fighting ring -- >> i had to reach a turning
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point, and prison definitely did it for me. >> reporter: after nothing short of public humiliation, michael vick will get the chance to prove himself, on and off the field. >> i have done some terrible things, i made a horrible mistake and now i want to be part of the solution, not the problem. >> reporter: the philadelphia eagles will pay vick $1.6 million to play football this year. >> fortunately, in this country, if we handle ourselves the proper way, we're given the opportunity for second chances. >> reporter: but some fans are not feeling so generous. >> i was an eagles fan up until yesterday. >> reporter: really? >> and i simply can't root for a team that puts someone like this on their roster. >> reporter: the newspapers and talk radio were on fire today. >> i think the eagles have gone crazy. >> reporter: animal rights groups are split. people for the ethical treatment of animals said they are
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"disappointed that the philadelphia eagles have chosen to sign a man who hanged dogs from trees, electrocuted them with jumper cables." but the humane society said "we look forward to working together to combat the dog fighting problem in philadelphia and nationwide." vick has agreed to speak out against animal cruelty, and the team says he had better do it well. >> if we don't have an extremely proactive player here, off the field, then this is a terrible decision. >> reporter: but in a sports-crazed town like philadelphia, the eagles didn't hire vick just to crusade for animal rights. >> if he doesn't play well, if the eagles lose, it's not going to matter what he does in the community, it'll be a failure. >> reporter: vick hasn't played organized football in two years. he takes the practice field tomorrow for the first time. no one knows how he'll play, or what position he'll play. technically he's still under suspension by the nfl, but the commissioner promises to decide whether to let him play by week
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six. charlie? >> john berman on the michael vick story, thank you. well, two air traffic controllers have been suspended following that deadly collision over the hudson last week. an investigation found they were not paying attention. wubl was on the phone just before the accident. but tonight, two federal agencies are at odds as to whether those lapses might have played a role in the crash. here's abc's david kerley. >> reporter: with the wreckage recovers from the river, investigators have learned the air traffic controller was on the phone, on what's being called an inappropriate call. the federal aviation administration suspended the controller and his supervisor, but said, there is, quote, no reason to believe their actions contributed to the crash. but tonight, crash investigators are contradictions that, saying the controller on the phone didn't tell the small plane about what it calls potential traffic conflicts. >> i think we're going to have to look at what the controller was doing, what his responsibilities were. there's still a lot of issues at the safety board. >> reporter: but according to a
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timeline rep leased by the ntsb late today, the controller at teterboro tower was handling the small plane when he initiated a nonbusiness related phone call. remarkably, it was nearby newark controllers who saw all the aircraft gifting dangerously close. they called the teterboro controller, asking him to tell the plane's pilot to turn to the southwest to resolve the potential conflicts. the teterboro controller made two calls to the plane. they went unanswered. just seconds before the helicopter and small plane collided. controllers say they are being made the scapegoat. >> sit there and allude or make act cue cases that the controller had anything to do with this accident is absolutely absurd, and, you know, it's very insulting. >> reporter: investigators say they will make that determination. david kerley, abc news, washington. next we turn to the health care battle, which shifted west today. president obama flew to montana,
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in a conservative town in a conservative state, to hold a town hall meeting and press his case for health care reform. while it was generally a friendly audience, the president specifically asked to hear from his critics. >> keep getting the bull, that's all we get is bull. you can't tell us how you're going to pay for this. but you have no money. the only way you're going to get that money is to raise our taxes. >> you are absolutely right that i can't cover another 46 million people for free. even after reeliminate some of the waste and we've gotten the savings from within the health care system, that's only two-thirds. and the other third, we would have to find additional revenue, but it wouldn't come on the backs of the middle class. >> while dozens of town halls are being held across the country, a lot of the action is happening in washington. groups with a keen interest in how health care plays out, and with deep pockets, are all hiring capitol hill lobbyists and doing so at a break taking
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rate. here's david wright. >> reporter: today in bozeman, montana, president obama expressed concern that special interests are trying to shangahi the health care debate. >> every time we are in sight of health insurance reform, the special interests fight back with everything they've got. >> reporter: currently 3,300 lobbyists are registered to pressure lawmakers on health care reform, according to the bloomberg news investigation of senate records. the health care reform lobbyists outnumber the congressmen six to one. >> insurance companies battling providers. drug companies battling insurance companies. hospitals going to war against nursing homes. all kinds of different institutions are looking to protect their bottom interest. >> reporter: in other words, they're hoping to shape the legislation in ways that will either protect or profit them. drug companies alone have spent more than $134 million on lobbying during the first sixth six months of the year. >> that's just the money they're spending on shoe leather -- well-heeled lawmakers walking the halls here at the capitol and buttonholing members of
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congress. another big way the special interests affect legislation is through campaign contributions. >> reporter: senator max baucus who chairs the committee drafting the senate health bill, is number four in total c contributions from health care and insurance interests. nearly $4 million over 20 years raised at annual events like camp baucus, an annual fly fishing and golfing weekend the senator held two weeks ago in big ski, montana. oh, by the way, five of his form er staff members are now lobbyists for health care and insurance interests. republicans are raising their fair share too. the health industry is senator chuck grassley's biggest rain maker -- $600,000 so far, this campaign cycle. senator orrin hatch, a senior republican on the health committee, has pulled nearly a million. >> money is going to speak louder than the merits of the legislation. >> reporter: out on the campaign trail last year, obama vowed he wouldn't let that happen. >> i'm going to have all the negotiations around a big table,
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we'll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators, insurance companies. we'll give them a seat at the table. they just won't be able to buy every chair. >> reporter: but the table is getting pretty crowded with special interests. david wright, abc news, the capitol. we have been fact checking the crucial arguments in the reform debate from end of life care to whether you can keep your insurance plan. that's all at "the world newser" at abcnews.com. and sunday, the focus on "this week" will be thehealth c, with senators arlen specter and orrin hatch. overseas in afghanistan, there is about to be a presidential election. days before the vote, quietly, almost secretively, a law was passed to severely limit the rights of some women in the country. afghan president karzai approved the law. jim sciutto is in kabul. >> reporter: the rights of women
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have been a hallmark of success here. >> the extraordinary leap forward afghan women have taken. >> reporter: but now they've taken a step backwards. the new law severely restricts the rights of afghanistan's 3 million shiite women. allowing husbands to refuse support to wives who don't obey their sexual demands, and requiring women to get permission from their husbands to work. we challenged karzai's campaign manager. her prohibition from going out of the house without her husband's permission. does that seem acceptable to you? >> you know, afghanistan is islamic country. afghanistan is not america. >> reporter: when the law was first signed in march, it sparked outrage here and around the world. >> we have stated very clearly that we object to this law. >> reporter: karzai withdrew it, but in the middle of a presidential campaign, it is back, an apparent attempt to win votes among conservatives. afghan women we spoke found the law unacceptable. >> it somehow approaches women as a second class citizen and
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approaches women more as property than a human begin. >> reporter: afghan women are watching the upcoming presidential election very carefully, concerned that some of the many gains they've made since the taliban fell, from girls going to school to women working, could be watered down by the new government. today, we met with dr. frozan fana, one of two female presidential candidates in a field of nearly 40. "there's a tradition of sexism in this country," she said. "women have not be educated to know their rights, so i stand here in support of them." one woman told us today, afghanistan has two faces, the modernizing, moderate one it shoes to the world. and a more traditional, severe one many afghans experience. jim sciutto, abc news, kabul. and still ahead, the little journalist who landed a big interview. the president gives an exclusive to an 11-year-old. the landmark discovery that one day might allow all of us to get by with less sleep. and, while everyone else
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debates health care, this man is providing it, for free. and he's our "person of the week." this is one way of getting vitamins and minerals. this is another. new total blueberry pomegranate cereal gives you 100% of the daily value of 12 essential vitamins and minerals. plus the bold new taste of blueberries and pomegranate with crispy whole grain flakes and crunchy oat clusters. total, a truly delicious way to get vitamins and minerals. how are you getting 100%? visit totalcereal.com and get a free sample. i can smile, i can carry on our conversation i do most of the talking yes i wear dentures and they fit wonderful super poligrip acts as a seal between my dentures and my gums super poligrip makes eating more comfortable. even well fitting dentures can feel
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pistol on president ford. prom, now 60 years old, was released from a texas prison. president obama yesterday gave an exclusive interview at the white house. the interviewer? >> i'm in the diplomatic room, and this is where i'm going to interview president obama. >> reporter: 11-year old damon weaver is a budding journalist from pahokee, florida who campaigned for almost a year to get an interview with the president. yesterday, he got it. >> in my town of pahokee, i've seen a lot of shootings and fights. what are you going to do about violence and keep me safe? >> it's important that parents and community members participate in training their young people to resolve arguments and disagreements without resorting to violence. >> reporter: damon didn't just stick to policy questions. >> my buddy dwayne wade promised me -- >> reporter: that's dwayne wade of the miami heat. >> -- he'd play you in a one-on-one basketball game. >> i would play dwayne wade. >> reporter: though the president said he'd rather play with wade than against him.
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i talked to damon weaver today. give me some tips on interviewing the president. >> well, you should always stay calm. he's a regular person and never thinks that he's better than you because you're both the same. >> reporter: you felt right at home down there in the diplomatic room. >> yep. i made myself comfortable. >> reporter: at the end of the interview, you talked to the president about whether he'd play basketball one-on-one with dwayne wade. do you think there's a chance in the world the president would score on dwayne wade? >> yes, a chance. it's possible. >> reporter: a chance? >> a chance. >> quite a young man. the kennedy family gathered in massachusetts today for the funeral of eunice kennedy shriver. her family and friends celebrated her as a trailblazer, a supporter of the mentally disabled, and founder of the special olympics. >> mommy wore men's pants. she smoked cuban cigars and he
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played tackle football. she was the real deal. a woman who did everything women aspire to. she had a great husband. shell had a great family. a deep, deep faith in god. and she combined that with being a fearless warrior for the voiceless. >> senator ted kennedy, eunice kennedy's only surviving brother, of course, is battling brain cancer, and could not attend today's funeral. and still ahead, answering one of life's mysteries. why some people don't need much sleep. i was hoping it was nothing. grandma! what a nice surprise! mom, it's sunday. that's when i knew i couldn't wait. mom's doctor said these were signs of alzheimer's, a type of dementia, and that prescription aricept could help. he said it's the only treatment proven effective... for all stages of alzheimer's. studies showed aricept slows the progression...
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there's more to cholesterol. get the picture. a roaring wildfire in santa cruz has forced 2400 people from their homes. firefighters have had trouble reaching the flames because of the rugged terrain, so the fire is being fought largely by air. in medical news tonight, a breakthrough in understanding one of life's mysteries. why do some people need less sleep than others? turns out it has nothing to do with caffeinated drunks of fl f fluffty pillows. scientists have discovered that some are programmed to get by on fewer hours. here's john mckenzie. >> reporter: ahh, sleep. eight to eight and a half hours a night. it's what most people need. but for millions of americans, just getting that much sleep, you must be dreaming. >> roughly about five. >> reporter: and you feel the affects? >> right now i can't form a complete sentence.
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i don't know where i am necessarily. >> i don't think i've gotten enough sleep my whole life. >> reporter: surveys show 30% of americans sleep six hours a night or less. and that alone can increase risks for cardiovascular disease, obesity and especially memory problems. so imagine the excitement at discovering a gene that controls how much sleep people need. a gene that allows people to sleep just six hours a night and awake perfectly refreshed. >> we've known for some time that there's a subset of the population that can function well on less than six hours of sleep. now we know there's a potential biological basis for that. >> reporter: researchers suspect fewer than 5% of people have this genetic mutation, making them short sleepers. but at least now there is a target for one day creating a new type of medication. >> the goal here is turning an eight-hour sleeper to somebody who can sleep less than six hours with no adverse consequences and then increase their productivity. >> reporter: raising the question, just what would you do if all you needed was six hours a night?
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>> try to do something a little more leisurely. read the whole paper? >> you have to look good, too. that's the important thing. you got to look good on six hours. >> reporter: sleeping less and look good? now that's asking a lot. john mckenzie, abc news, new york. and still ahead, he used to be homeless. now he provides free health care to thousands of people. and he's our "person of the week." i introduce them to the most fuel-efficient midsize sedans... and suvs in america. i don't know if you've heard, but this whole fuel-efficiency thing... kind of a big deal. anyway, ford and lincoln mercury have you covered. in fact, they're your cash for clunkers specialists. they'll recycle your ride and get you a rebate of up to $4,500. how's that for going green? why ford? why now? why not? visit your ford or lincoln mercury dealer. tell 'em mike sent you. if you think it would help. it's lash blast! for the biggest, boldest lashes of your life!
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finally, our "person of the week." a man who provides a powerful counter point to the debate on the cost of health care. while the country is embroiled in arguments, voices raised and fingers pointed, this man has little time for talk. >> sorry about the long line. it's really like disaster relief. the parking lot is going to open at 0400. if you have a mouth full of bad teeth and you can't function to get a job, for you, it is a disaster. >> reporter: stan brock has been in the disaster relief business for 25 years. >> very glad you're here. >> reporter: providing medical care, free of charge, to all comers. >> number eight. come on down. number nine? >> reporter: stan's remote area
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medical foundation has staged 346 free clinics in the rural u.s. this week, though, there has been nothing rural about his location. for eight days, he has set up shop in los angeles. >> people are asking me, you know, what are you doing in los angeles? that's not very remote. but you know, for people that simply can't afford health care in this country, the opportunity to get it is remote. >> it's a jungle in downtown l.a. we need it here, too. >> if this wasn't here, we wouldn't be able to go to the doctor for who knows how long. it's already been a long time. >> reporter: the clinics are all volunteer. everyone from the greeters -- >> good morning. >> reporter: to the dentists. and doctors. >> still a little high. >> reporter: stan founded remote area medical to serve the underserved in the third world, and he still does that. but his primary mission has changed. >> 64% of all the work we do is right here in the united states.
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>> reporter: at one time, stan could have been one of the thousands waiting on line. >> i've been homeless. i've been without money. and without health care. and so, knowing that, and knowing the obstacles that they face, really is the impetus. >> reporter: remote area medical saw 34,000 patients in the u.s. last year, but the clinics only last a few days. there's just not enough time or volunteers to treat everyone. >> when we get to the end of the day on the last day and there's still women out there holding up their kids, just wanting us to see one more, and we have to tell them, i'm sorry, that's -- that's the worst part of this job. what is great, though, is to see somebody that's been in the dental chair, change their lives, really, or got a brand new pair of glasses, and now they can see. >> whoa!
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>> and afterwards, they go up and they hug the doctor, and say thanks for coming. hey. that's great. that's great. >> and so we choose stan brock. he and the remote area medical team will leave los angeles on tuesday, where they have seen 8,000 patients. and they'll head next to tennessee. that is "world news" for this friday. i'm charlie gibson, and i hope you had a good day. for all of us at abc news, have a good night, and a great for all of us at abc news, have a good night, and a great weekend. captions by vitac
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this is the "jeopardy!" college championship. here are today's contestants--

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AB Cs World News With Charles Gibson
ABC August 14, 2009 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

ABC News News/Business. Charles Gibson. The latest world and national news. New. (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Afghanistan 5, Michael Vick 5, Abc 5, Dwayne Wade 5, Philadelphia 3, Los Angeles 3, Abc News 3, Teterboro 3, Alzheimer 's 3, America 3, Montana 3, Vick 3, Washington 2, Jim Sciutto 2, Us 2, John Mckenzie 2, Lincoln Mercury 2, Damon Weaver 2, Philadelphia Eagles 2, John Berman 2
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